How The Human Library Is Changing The World One Person At A Time

When you think of a library, the first thing you think about is borrowing books.

This library allows you to borrow people as books. 

The Human Library is a non-profit organization that was founded in the spring of 2000 in Denmark. For over twenty years, the organization has been helping people combat prejudice by lending people out as books. 

Each ‘book’ on the Human Library bookshelf has a unique story to tell. Just like traditional books, each of them has a title. These ‘titles’ are volunteers who have had out of the ordinary experiences: they could be part of a minority, a different ethnicity, a person with a genetic or psychological disorder, sexual orientation, and more. 

For half an hour, the Library lends you a person with whom you can have a one-on-one conversation with. Here, you can listen to their story, ask them questions, and understand what it’s like to be in their shoes.

The aim of the events is to challenge stereotypes and have an open conversation about topics that people usually shy away from discussing. This is done through local events, where a safe space for dialogue is created and taboo topics are openly discussed.

The Human Library in Delhi, India.

Since the onset of the pandemic, their work has moved online, allowing human books from all over the world to connect with readers. 

The organization also offers diversity, equity and inclusion training for companies that wish to better incorporate social understanding within their workforce, as well as grow their cultural awareness for deeper partnerships with clients. So far, it has worked with companies such as eBay, IMF, World Bank, Google and numerous public schools and universities. 

We love how this simple concept is promoting inclusion and tackling the issue of diversity, one person at a time, while making the world a kinder place.